- “I cannot wait for that glorious moment! The Grey Wardens battle beside the king of Ferelden to stem the tide of evil!”
Son of King Maric Theirin and Queen Rowan, Cailan Theirin is the King of Ferelden after the sudden disappearance of his father in 9:25 Dragon. During the opening stages of the Fifth Blight, he has been sitting on the throne for five years, alongside his wife Queen Anora, daughter of the hero Loghain Mac Tir.
Cailan was born in the year 9:5 Dragon. His mother showed great interest in books, and Cailan inherited this. He loved hearing heroic tales as a child, particularly those describing his father's rise to power. His mother, Rowan, died when he was still a boy in 9:8 Dragon, and the young prince lived a lone child.
Cailan was not raised by his father alone. Loghain helped raise him and helped to organize his marriage to Anora, as they grew up together. He was described at that time as always following her lead, and being thoroughly under her thumb. While Anora eventually grew fond of Cailan's charms, he was not above committing a few indiscretions with other women during their marriage. Cailan never found himself heavily involved in Ferelden's politics, and seemed satisfied about Anora dealing with the administrative aspects of government, as in his mind, a true king's duty was to unite his people against a common enemy.
While some people thought of Cailan as foolish and a child playing at being a king, Cailan was also seen as a moral and idealistic king, willing to make alliances with former enemies for the good of Ferelden. He was also close to his men, as he would occasionally hang around and talk to them. In addition, he insisted that he fight alongside his forces and the Grey Wardens, despite this being very dangerous for him.
- See also: Battle of Ostagar
Rather than being concerned at the increasing number of darkspawn, Cailan embraced it as a chance to forge a legend of his own, by fighting alongside the legendary Grey Wardens at Ostagar. He was so determined to emerge victorious that he invited Orlesian soldiers to Ferelden, despite the fact that the nation had only been free from their rule for thirty years. When the battle began, Cailan insisted on fighting on the front-lines, ignoring advice to the contrary. When Loghain pulled his troops from the battlefield, Cailan and nearly all of the Grey Wardens stood overwhelmed by the darkspawn. An ogre crushed him to death with its fist.
- See also: Return to Ostagar (quest)
In Return to Ostagar DLC, Cailan is found in an almost crucified position with many wounds and without his armor on the same bridge that the Warden and Alistair crossed to reach the Tower of Ishal. Once all of his equipment is found the Warden may return to his body and give him a proper send off by burning his body on a pyre, leave him to the wolves, or leave his body to the darkspawn.
- "Allow me to be the first to welcome you to Ostagar. The Wardens will benefit greatly with you in their ranks."
- "Our arguments with the Orlesians are a thing of the past, and you will remember who is king!"
- "Enough of your conspiracy theories, Loghain! Grey Wardens battle the Blight, no matter where they're from!"
- Cailan was written by David Gaider.
- Once Alistair reveals at Redcliffe that he is Cailan's half-brother (the result of King Maric's affair with a castle maid), the physical similarities between them becomes rather obvious, with Cailan bearing a little more resemblance to their father (particulary in terms of hair style). The two even have similar personalities, being considered foolish or childish by others, despite their respectable titles. A major difference between the two is that while Alistair admits to not wanting the responsibility of being king, Cailan seems to revel in it and even actively seeks glory. This appears to be something that Alistair finds annoying, judging by the feelings he expresses about Cailan's battle plan at Ostagar.
- Elric Maraigne, one of Cailan's Honour Guard, believes that Cailan knew the Battle of Ostagar would be lost--which directly contradicts his outwardly confident behavior. It's possible that Cailan knew showing any concern for the outcome of the battle could negatively effect morale and further lessen their chances of victory.
- As noted above, Cailan's personality is similar to Alistair's, so its possible that like his brother, Cailen's outward personality was an act to conceal what he truly felt about the war.
- Despite Alistair being a half-brother born out of an affair, Cailan held him in high regard, calling him one of the best Grey Wardens, however, Cailan had him go with The Warden to light the fire when he could have aided the King in battle, however if the implication of Cailan knowing the outcome of the battle is true, then it may have simply been an attempt to save Alistair.
- The Greatsword Cailan wields has the same model as Yusaris.
- David Gaider confirmed in an interview that Cailan was, indeed, planning to leave Anora for Empress Celene due to Anora's supposed infertility. The subplot, however, got removed from the script and only later referenced in Return to Ostagar by The Secret Companion's party banter.